Discussions that mention synthroid

Thyroid Disorders board


I just have a few questions. First off, I have been on Synthroid many years and am currently on 0.1 MG per day. I just had my TSH checked for my yearly exam and it was 5.53 which is just above the high normal range of 5.5 according to the Dr. I have apt. 3/17 to go over with her. I have been terribly tired for the last 5 mos. or so, hard to get up in the morning, irritable, etc. so now that I found out the level of my TSH has gone up, I am fairly certain I need my dose "upped". In her letter she suggested testing in 3 mos. to see if it needs to be changed, I am thinking it needs changing now. About a year ago I had to switch Dr.'s due to insurance and this Dr. isn't the most knowledgeable about the whole thyroid thing. (although I don't know much either other than what I learn here on the net). My old Dr. always kept me around 2. She felt lower on the range was better as long as I felt OK. This Dr. feels if it's in the normal range, anywhere in it...it's fine. I was having symptoms last year at this time and my TSH was between 4 & 5 (can't remember exact) and she assured me that my symptoms must be something other than the thyroid level because it was in the normal range. I ended up staying on the 0.1 MG because she said it couldn't be my thyroid and I couldn't convince her otherwise. I am hoping for some info and maybe some advice on Dr.s & how to handle this with her. I am at the mercy of a PPO and can only go to one place where my insurance will pay full amount. I could switch Dr.s within the clinic, but I prefer female to male and there's not a lot of choice in that area. Plus I could end up with another just like her too...who feels if it's in range, it's fine. Can I as a patient insist they increase the dose to keep me at a certain TSH if I find that I feel better? If they don't test T3/T4 and all that, is this TSH test a good enough indicator or should I insist on different or additional tests? Also...can anyone tell me what a high dose of Synthroid would be? In other words...how high of a dose can a person go? I'm on 0.1 MG right now...is this very low, moderate, high? And does anyone know what happens if the dose keeps having to be increased? Does this mean eventually the thyroid will quit altogether and the whole thing will need to be controlled by the thyroid medication? I'm assuming they don't remove a thyroid unless it causes a problem, so if it just stops I suppose they just increase dose. I have a feeling I'm low on the dosage scale, just wondering though. Thanks for any help.
Quote from LKeeney70:
I just have a few questions. First off, I have been on Synthroid many years and am currently on 0.1 MG per day. I just had my TSH checked for my yearly exam and it was 5.53 which is just above the high normal range of 5.5 according to the Dr. I have apt. 3/17 to go over with her.

Lkeeney, that TSH is anything but normal, it's HIGH. People who zero thyroid problems have a TSH of 1.0 or lower. The current and correct range for TSH is .3-3.04, and even a TSH over 2.5 is suspect.

[QUOTE]I have been terribly tired for the last 5 mos. or so, hard to get up in the morning, irritable, etc. so now that I found out the level of my TSH has gone up, I am fairly certain I need my dose "upped". In her letter she suggested testing in 3 mos. to see if it needs to be changed, I am thinking it needs changing now.
I agree, you feel crappy because your TSH is 5.53 - it's screaming for more thyroid hormones. This doctor ain't very good, IMHO - she's got your TSH over 5 and she's only watching your TSH! Once you start treatment TSH becomes meaningless; you want to have your FT levels checked to figure out dosage needs. FTs are the actual level of hormones available to your body. These are what determine if you feel OK or not.

[QUOTE]About a year ago I had to switch Dr.'s due to insurance and this Dr. isn't the most knowledgeable about the whole thyroid thing. (although I don't know much either other than what I learn here on the net). My old Dr. always kept me around 2. She felt lower on the range was better as long as I felt OK. This Dr. feels if it's in the normal range, anywhere in it...it's fine.
You need a new doctor - really. Thats unconscionable!

[QUOTE] If they don't test T3/T4 and all that, is this TSH test a good enough indicator or should I insist on different or additional tests?
Insist on the additional tests... you don't just want T4/T3 you want FT4/FT3, if all else fails you can get these tested yourself for 75$ at healthcheckusa. It would be well worth it.

[QUOTE]Also...can anyone tell me what a high dose of Synthroid would be? In other words...how high of a dose can a person go? I'm on 0.1 MG right now...is this very low, moderate, high?
It depends on what you need - the full replacement dose is between 250-300mcgs. I'm on the equivalent of 225 mcgs and I'm only now feeling well. It should be determined based on your symptoms and your FT levels - TSH should not enter into it.

[quote] I'm assuming they don't remove a thyroid unless it causes a problem, so if it just stops I suppose they just increase dose. I have a feeling I'm low on the dosage scale, just wondering though. Thanks for any help. Once the thyroid quits they just replace the dose with exogenous hormones - they don't take it out.

Have you been tested for antibodies? Do you know if you had any?

Right now the best thing you can do is educate yourself about your condition. Check out the Information Archive Thread here, at the top of this board - it's a good place to start. I would also suggest Solved: The Riddle of Illness by Stephen Langer, M.D. and James Scheer, there's even a chapter in this book "For Doctors Only" that could help if you could get a doctor to read it...

Good luck - I hope you can find a doctor who'll help.
Nat